4th of July Eye Safety

By W. Benjamin Kunz, MD

This upcoming fun holiday there will be several opportunities to celebrate, and fireworks are a big part of that. Unfortunately, fireworks can often lead to injuries, and our eyes are vulnerable to firework trauma. Unlike the rest of your body which is typically injured by burns, eyes are susceptible to debris, laceration or blunt trauma. First and foremost, please follow all local laws when using fireworks– they are designed to minimize damage to you or your property.

Wearing eye protection and working at a safe distance when lighting fireworks is imperative to minimize risk of serious injury. Onlookers are unfortunately just as prone to injury due to unpredictable paths fireworks can travel. Please keep spectators a safe distance away and only have one exhibit proceeding at the same time so they are not distracted.

Finally, in the event firework material does enter the eye, please seek examination by an eye doctor or emergency physician as quickly as possible. Treatment varies greatly by injury type, so
don’t rub the eye or place any ointment or fluids on the eye, as this can complicate the picture.

All of us at Oregon Eye Consultants hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!